This week, we’ve got capsule reviews of Dark Reign: Hawkeye #4, New Avengers #55 and Ultimatum Spider-Man Requiem #2 (punctuate that title however you prefer) – and a quick reminder to pick up the a copy of Phonogram Vs. The Fans, if you want to see what we contributed to it!
Review: Dark Reign: Hawkeye #4
This Bullseye miniseries has been one of the more enjoyable ones to carry the Dark Reign banner, and in a week where they all seem to have dropped at once, it’s quite easy to pick this as one of the best. Diggle’s handle on the character is good, though a major part of the plot refers back to Bullseye: Greatest Hits, which, lest we forget, is 5 years old and has been virtually ignored since then. As part of Bullseye’s character arc, it makes sense, but the new fans he’s picked up in the intervening 5 years on both Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers could be left feeling a little cheated by the issue’s developments. [JHu]
Review: New Avengers #55
Immonen’s arrival on art heralds a new arc for New Avengers, though frankly you’d have to be playing quite a lot of attention to notice. New Avengers #55 once again facing off against…The Hood, who has pretty much become a full-time member of the cast. A pity, really, since he’s not being used to much effect, and a legion of villains behind him has the secondary result of making them even more faceless and interchangeable than ever. For a book that used to thrive on being the bleeding edge of the Marvel Universe, New Avengers is feeling more and more like the neglected older sibling of Dark Avengers, which is where all the real action is going on. [JHu]
Review: Ultimatum Spider-Man Requiem #2
Well, this is a weird one. J. Jonah Jameson writes a touching eulogy for Spider-Man, explaining what an inspirational and heroic figure he actually was, before a final page reveal that basically renders the entire two-part exercise almost entirely pointless (and I know that I’ve just about spoilered the ending even without making it explicit, but come on, we all saw it coming anyway). The framing device is better than the flashback story it tells – unlike last issue, this is actually just a retelling of something we’ve already seen, a part of the very first Hulk rampage from the Marvel Team-Up days (and wow, how strange is it that that’s not far from a decade old?) – and setting Bagley’s art against Immonen’s actually makes the former look somewhat quaint and outdated. And the sequence of “pin-up” pages all appear to be recycled artwork, which feels like a bit of a con. Not terrible – and still by far the best thing to have the word “Ultimatum” on its cover – but it’s an uncharacteristically flat ending to such a distinguished series. Let’s hope its replacement will regain the momentum. [SP]
Yes, it’s this again, but we promise it’s the last time – if any Phonogram fans (or indeed just Comics Daily fans?) want to get hold of Phonogram vs. the Fans, featuring Seb’s “Panic” and James’ “Here Comes Your Man” strips, then you can buy copies leftover from SDCC over at Etsy. But be quick – at the time of writing, there were only 14 left… [SP]